If you or someone close to you have diabetes then you must be thinking of hundreds of ways to satisfy the sweet tooth using some easy desserts for diabetics. Diabetes management is difficult but conscious eating can solve half of your problems. You must often find yourself looking up diabetes-friendly dessert recipes and then checking and rechecking the ingredients used.
Well, we have made it easy for you! We must know that the total number of carbohydrates of a meal or dessert matters more than the total sugar for people with diabetes. With a few adjustments, you can make your favourite desserts diabetic friendly and include them in your diabetes-friendly diet.
What makes a food diabetic-friendly?
Isn't this a question that pops up in many people's minds, well today let's clear up this concept.
For a diabetic person, the quantity and quality of carbohydrates play a very crucial role in the diet. Instead of avoiding dessert altogether, we can use small tweaks in the recipes and ingredients to make the desert Diabetic-friendly and satisfy the sugar urge.
Glycemic Index(GI) is an important metric that helps us understand the impact of a food item on the blood sugar level. Here are some examples of commonly used foods and their GI:
High GI foods like:
Refined flour, cornflakes, potato, yam, watermelon, chikoo, honey, and jaggery are prone to cause a quick sugar spike.
Low GI foods like:
whole grains, green leafy, dairy products, and lean meat
help to manage blood sugar levels.
We have always heard people say “I’ll replace the sugar with jaggery while making the ladoos”, not realising that sugar/jaggery have the same effect on blood sugar as they are high GI foods.
White rice is a staple food that happens to a part of some famous dessert-like kheer. White rice undergoes a lot of processing methods leading to just starch and loss of fibre making it a high GI food.
Baking a cake seems like a much healthier option. We see people make cakes without sugar (healthy isn't it?) but they forget to replace the refined flour (maida) with whole grain flour. As maida is processed wheat flour, there is a total loss of fibre making it a high GI food
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important for everyone, but if you have diabetes making the right choice in food plays a vital role.
So, let’s look at the general guidelines and a few healthy diabetes-friendly sweet recipes:
Check the total amount of carbs in the dessert-like rice, wheat, maida as in simple carbs. Try replacing them with red rice, whole wheat flour, millet.
Substituting sugar with Jaggery or dates syrup comes to equating the whole idea by adding sugar since the other 2 are also simple sugars.
Artificial sweeteners that are generally recognised as safe like stevia can be used in moderation. Be careful not to overuse sugar alcohols like xylitol, sucralose since they can cause gastrointestinal discomfort
Try adding natural sweetener ingredients like dates powder, anjeer, or other nuts and dry fruits to lower glycemic index and improve protein and good fat intake.
Similarly try preparing desserts with low-fat milk and milk products like cottage cheese, milk, hung curd, or pulses to lower glycemic index and improve satiety and fiber intake
Be wary about the saturated fat intake as in khoya, ghee, butter, margarine to keep a check on long-term glycosylated hemoglobin levels. Studies show a connection between high saturated fat intake and higher HbA1c levels
1. Sugar-free apple date kheer
Here is a perfect swap to the all-time favourite kheer. With apple being a diabetic-friendly fruit and all the sweetness adds up from the dates & raisins. Check out this lip-smacking kheer recipe here.
2. Grilled almond barfi
A perfect diabetic dessert without artificial sweeteners. All you need is khoya, almonds, and a natural sweetener like stevia. Check out the recipe here.
3. Chia seed pudding
Who said puddings can’t be sugar-free? Check out the chia seed pudding which is loaded with fiber and antioxidants. You can replace the frozen fruits with fresh berries. Check out the link here.
4. Homemade peach ice-cream
Craving for ice cream in the hot summers? Well worry not; here we have a no sugar peach ice cream made with only 2 ingredients. Peaches being a low GI (glycaemic index is a measure of the unit that checks how quickly a food converts to sugar on digestion) making it a diabetic-friendly dessert choice. Check out the link here.
5. Kesar phirni
It's time to replace the white rice with brown/red rice making it a much healthier option to make a kheer.With the use of natural sweeteners like stevia makes it safe to sweeten the desserts and cater to the sweet tooth. Check out the link here.
6. Paneer kheer
This is a perfect low glycemic index high protein dessert catering to every diabetic sweet tooth. Check out the link here.
7. Fruit Shrikhand
A cooling summer recipe wherein a mixture of all low GI fruits can be included like, apples, guavas, pomegranate, or sweet lime which is perfect for any festival or even a lazy weekend! Check out the link here.
Here’s how precision nutrition can help manage diabetes:
Diabetes management with the help of proper precision nutrition therapy and lifestyle changes can go a long way in removing unnecessary misconceptions about things like totally avoiding Diabetic desserts or sweets, unnecessary dietary restrictions, and additions. Compliance and balance in meals can make life with diabetes easier and healthier.
Specified and personalised medical nutrition therapy is the cornerstone of successful diabetes management
We at Sova health, make a detailed assessment with the help of a blood sugar panel and customise the recommendations based on your present eating habits, lifestyle, chronic conditions, and blood biomarkers. Customised interventions and guidance on food habits give you the freedom to make conscious food choices. This way, you get healthy with the food you are already eating at home. No starving yourself, eating foods you don't like or buying expensive ingredients. The Sova health program makes you the expert on your health condition. Sign up today!